Friday, April 6, 2012


we flew to Venice which was our next destination for 3 days and even though i expected it to be a beautiful place, i did not expect it to be THAT beautiful.
it was surreal watching the water level almost ground level with so many buildings, a city built on water. it truly lived up to its name of being the "most beautiful city built by man".
i was in awe. truly.

"Acqua Alta", a term used to describe the scenario where the water level is higher than ground is common in venice and it happens usually during October to January and us, being there in March enjoyed a low tide season where we could go about our daily sightseeings in flats, no problem at all!
we could see from the water marks on most of the buildings there to know how high the tides can reach during high tides and i think its just scary but Venice is used to it so they just live with the situation.
its very common to see the outdoor restaurants on platforms. not very high ones, but high enough to notice.

from Venice airport, we had to take a water transport to reach the main city of venice and we decided not to squeeze with the main crowd and because there is a hotel dock, the water taxi could park there and that means we would not need to drag 4 luggages across streets and bridges and crowds. a very important point to us.

The ride took about 40 minutes and it was sooo good!
we had the wind in our hair, the sun shining on us, the clear blue sky and the boat operator who did his thing and not worry about us.

soon, we were reaching and that was when we started to see lots of buildings on water.

Passing between the buildings, along the canals. i love this part the most because i am truly a city girl and this to me, was a novelty, a very romantic and lovely experience.

Happy tourists on the Gondola.

One of the many bridges in Venice to link the roads up when you are not using a water transport and it made walking around aimlessly very pleasant but you definitely need a gps or friendly locals because it is easy to keep walking and then get lost :)
Reaching the hotel soon!

The hotel's dock
For our stay in Venice, G picked the Westin Europa and Regina and i love the decor of the hotel.

ok, i love the decor of the hotels in Europe in general.
they are really spacious and the rooms are full of its own character.
The french flair and glamour are very evident in the designs.

This is part of the lobby of the hotel and i was here whenever i needed to use the internet.
wi-fi in Venice is almost non-existent.
the most common and hated problem is that wifi does not work in the hotel rooms, no matter what hotel you stay in. we visited a restaurant which put up a sign to say that they provide free wifi for the patrons but the wifi there was non-existent too.
i'm not sure if 3G will work ok there as it was our first day in Italy and when we tried to get a prepaid sim for data from the only telco shop there, we were told that the network was down.....

some pictures of the room :)

in the morning, when the workers are working on another building along the street, the chandelier danced a little. i was worried about it falling on me but very soon, i got used to it. haha.
a writing desk beside our bed. i think i used that for 3 seconds. as i was looking for the room service menu and i love the mirror.

i love the stools at the end of the bed!
a little cosy corner
at the other side of the room, a small flight of stairs led to the vanity area and a small walk-in wardrobe.
Putting on my makeup and skincare there was a rather romantic affair. hahaha.
i like it that they use a lot of gold in their accessories.

After dropping our luggage and resting for a little while, we decided to change and check Venice out.
The Piazza San Marco where there are lots of restaurants and cafes.
it is common for the restaurants in Venice to have a group of musicians playing on the violin, cello and the piano and these eateries charges a cover charge for the music on top on the usual cover charge. so before you even order anything, you would have a bill of 16 Euro for 2 people.
the thing is, when you are on vacation, you gladly pay for things like that. just for the experience :)

Lots of pushcarts selling masks and sunglasses everywhere we go and even when you just browse and not buy, the italians will say " its ok, don't worry, be happy"

Lots of canals like this where you have the gondolas passing by with their passengers.

there are hotels at the other side of the city too and to get there, take a gondola or a water taxi.

Gondolas parking bay. You could sit down there for a picture but if you stop there just to relax ( like many others ) and if you are like me, who gets all faint after seeing things bob up and down, i suggest you go somewhere else because the gondolas were bobbing about so much i felt a little dizzy after 10 seconds.

Gelato before lunch!
Italy is famous for their gelatos so we just had to have them.
from Venice to rome, we tried them a few times and its good but we can have these in singapore too!
Lunch recommended by the hotel concierge and until now, i still think that it was the best pasta which i had in Italy.
see the rows and rows of wine beside me? G is not a drinker and i don't like to drink alone so the we were most of the time, the weird asians who doesn't drink.

His Sea bass ravioli was amazing.

My squid ink pasta with scallops was equally good!

followed by this tiramisu which was divine. the alcohol was strong and the cream wasn't overly thick. because of the amount of cocoa powder they sprinkled all over it, it left little room for whatever milky taste the cream would have contributed to it
Our dinner was italian food again and this time, we tried out another small restaurant which promised free wifi for the patrons. yes, the one that did not have the signal for wifi in the end and we had parma ham with melon!
after all the parma hams which the italians put in everything from pizza to pastas, G declared that he hate parma ham.
Not me though! i love them with melons!
i love having ham with melons so much i even do it at home except that i usually use shaved ham because its less salty!
a quaint little bookstore that sells leather books but the books were like 45 euro each and i did not see the value in them.
i might regret it in future but not yet.
ps: those chilly nights, i had my warming packs in my pockets, one in each pocket and i realized that when your hands are warm, the rest of your body doesn't feel cold that soon.
for the rest of the trip, whenever the night gets too chilly, i reach for my warming pack and everything got so much better.
G puts his hands into my pockets sometimes and ask for the warming packs too. it was a very funny thing to me considering how he always refuses to wear anything thick.

That night, the hotel sent up a complimentary birthday cake and G sang a little birthday song for me while i cut my first of 2 cakes in Venice as this one was a little early!

The next day, we went roaming around the streets again and it was little stores after stores selling intricate items.
venice is well known for its colorful glass beads but those doesn't really appeal that much to me, maybe because we actually see a fair bit of them here in Asia.
i was looking around for silver and gold accessories but there were not really so much of them around.

enjoying my Nutella crepes!

we decided to stop by a cafe for some coffee before continuing our sight-seeing where someone proceeded to look cool in all pictures again while the other continued to be herself.

on one of the most popular bridge in Venice where we got a scenic view of venice.

everyone was cramping around for a nice picture and there were lots of happy, smiling faces :)
we ( me and some other tourists , not G because someone is cool, remember? ) waved at the people who are just arriving in the water taxis too. you know, i just like to give a warm welcome!

Being picture perfect.
Changed into something warmer and then we made our way for a little concert at one of church.
the acoustic at church was good enough without the need for microphones and i think it was my best night in Venice.

The square was still full of people though it was close to 11pm and we decided to take some pictures of the square at nightfall before we went back to the hotel for my birthday dinner!
G loves lights. I love them too but i prefer the sun because it gives a natural warmth to the people in the pictures!

Venice is not like NY where everyone is still roaming about at 2am.
in venice, by 12am, you see very few people walking about and almost all shops are closed.

I Decided to have a room service birthday meal instead of spending it at the hotel restaurants with everyone else.
took out my jacket, threw on my pink scarf as a little celebration :)

because everything else on the menu looked a little suspicious, i stuck to my favorite room service order, the club sandwich! and i had my 2nd cake which is my real birthday cake from G.

i am 30 this year.
time flies and for the past few years, its been nothing but pleasures and happiness for me and for the people around me.
i wish for more to come and more importantly, for good health, to everyone around me and for everyone to be happy because life is short. because we do not know what will happen tomorrow.
sometimes, we get too caught up in the everyday life, in the things which we are supposed to fulfill that we forget to stop and watch the world goes by. we forget that the best things in life are free. Love, the beauties in life, good health and having your loved ones around you.
i wish that i will always have the time to smell the roses and that God will keep all of us happy and contented.

Florence and Rome next. Goodnight!

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